Employment in Ireland

Starting a business in Ireland comes with its own rules and regulations, which aspiring entrepreneurs and investors must stick to. Ireland is one of those countries known for its well-organized systems and iron-clad policies. All people, locals or foreigners, must conduct comprehensive research into the bureaucratic processes to ensure their businesses thrive here. 

While there are a lot of steps and procedures to take care of, there are also a lot of helpful resources and governmental agencies that can help break down all the little details. To remember, non-EU citizens or those not from Switzerland need to acquire special permits to start work or invest in Ireland. This permission comes under the purview of the Immigration Investor Programme or the Startup Entrepreneur Programme. 

Foreigners hailing from the European Economic Area or Switzerland do not require such permission. These citizens are free to start their investment or business venture as any local would. All regulations are designed to enable entrepreneurs and investors to succeed in their experiences, whether they want to build an empire or are starting a small business in Ireland.

Quick Overview

Those businessmen wondering how to start a business in Ireland would be happy to know that there are very straightforward policies on how they can go about it. As with every business venture, you must first come up with a marketable idea and preferably one which is lacking in the already set up marketplace. You do need to decide your company’s legal structure as well before proceeding further. There are also certain permits and registrations for taxes with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) and for hiring employees that must be completed before starting a business in Ireland.  

Process of setting up a business in Ireland

To begin with, every entrepreneur and investor must conduct market research before starting a business in Ireland. This means testing the market to see the need and demand for your product or service. There are free resources where business owners can even see the potential market for their business and gain a realistic idea of how much business they can expect. This is also helpful in examining the scope of expansion and getting a rough idea of how much help and employee hiring you must do and over what period. 

Next, every business needs to develop a legal structure for the company. In Ireland, you can have one of the following three kinds of companies: 

  • Sole Trader: This is where a business owner is the only one responsible for all the company’s obligations. They are the only people to whom the business completely belongs, and as such, they bear all responsibility.
  • Partnership: A partnership is formed between 2 or more people wherein each of them is jointly and individually liable for the company’s obligations. As far as Ireland is concerned, all partners need to pay taxes.
  • Limited company: A limited company can be formed by one or more people. This company is where the business is a separate entity, and no one is personally liable for any obligations. If a company goes bankrupt, the owners may not have to sell their assets or belongings in this structure.

As per the Companies Act of 2014, there may be private companies of two types: 

  • Those who are limited by shares (LTD) 
  • Those that are known as Designated Activity Company (DAC)

Registration comes next. When starting a business in Ireland, all owners must remember that they need to register their company with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). You need to register your business name here, and in the case of a Limited company, they also need to return their reports and accounts every year to CRO. They can also do this online. 

After completing all of this, you also need to look for land where your office or shop will be. This is very important as your place of work could affect your clientele based on the kind of business you are running. For example, if you are starting a small business in Ireland where you sell candles, you need to put up a shop where you can attract customers. You need to see the kind of crowd that the location attracts and whether or not they could be potential buyers. 

Another crucial step in starting a business in Ireland is securing funding. There are a lot of governmental resources from which a business can secure funding. There are various kinds of funding as well, and as such, you must conduct your research to find the best starting a business in Ireland grants for your company. 

Hiring Employees is the next step to starting a business in Ireland. For the business to run smoothly and flawlessly, there needs to be a team of people who can expertly handle the different aspects of running a business. Before hiring, you must familiarize yourself with all the regulations and policies related to employee hiring. These would include employment conditions, the maximum number of working hours, vacations, holidays, pension, hiring procedure, employment contract, and so on.

Additionally, it is extremely important to know how many employees your business needs at a particular time. This is crucial because employee costs would add to the company budget, and you must have the required funds to provide for your employees. Having an experienced HR solutions provider like Zimyo by your side can take the hassles out of the entire process. 

Permits and legalities are the next steps in starting a business in Ireland. Every business needs a lot of permits to start a business. Some of these are requirements like Insurance which every business needs to acquire, while others may be optional. In addition to these, there may also be business-specific regulations and permits that a business may require.

For example, if you have a business that can potentially affect the environment or the people living around your company premises, you need to complete special permits and checks. In such a case, the business owner must also take all the necessary steps to minimize the harmful effects on the business. 

After figuring out all of these aspects and ironing out all the details, a business becomes ready to start functioning. In case of issues like refusal of credit, various governmentally authorized organizations can help resolve issues. 

Hiring Employees in Ireland 

Hiring Employees is essential for establishing and running a successful business venture. Every country has its own set of policies and regulations governing the conditions of employment that business owners and investors must adhere to. For starting a business in Ireland, the first and foremost thing to comply with is registering with the revenue services for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and for Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI). A written employment contract must be drawn which lays down all the details about the employment. 

This includes a brief job description, what is expected of the employee, what conduct is expected from him, and his rights as an employee. Some details required to be covered in this document are:

  • Trial Period/Probation Period: There are no specific limits to the probationary period but ordinarily Probation period in Ireland goes on between 3- 6 months. However, employers can extend it too, and, in some cases, it goes on for 12 months.
  • Leave and Holidays: Annual leave to the tune of 4 weeks per year is allowed in Ireland. This is the minimum, and employers may choose to allow more annual leave days than this.

In addition to this, there are 10 public holidays granted to all employees. However, if you are a part-time employee, they can qualify for a paid public holiday if they work over 40 hours a week for the organization. 

  • Maternity Leave: Paying for maternity leave is not a requirement in Ireland. This is up to the employer. However, there are 26 weeks of maternity leave allowed, for which expecting and new mothers can claim a Maternity Benefit. Post these 26 weeks, they can also opt for an additional 16 weeks of Maternity leave but cannot claim Maternity benefits for it. The mother’s spouse can also take a leave of two weeks, but this too is not necessarily paid for by the employer. They can, however, opt for a Paternal Benefit.
  • Termination of services: The notice period that an employer must provide to an employee depends upon the duration for which he has worked with the employer. It is governed by the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973. If an employee has worked for less than 2 years, then the employer needs to provide a notice period of 1 week, for employees who have worked for 2-5 years, two weeks of notice needs to be served, 4 weeks of notice period for employment lasting 5-10 years, 6 weeks for 10-15 years, and 8 weeks for those that have worked longer than 15 years.
  • Pension: Pensions come in two forms in Ireland, employers’ contribution, which is quite low, and State contribution. A citizen must complete 66 years of age to become eligible for both. It is not necessary to be retired or not be working to receive the state contribution in Ireland. The pension amount varies depending upon a lot of factors, and individuals should check with PRSI to find out how much pension they are eligible to receive.
  • Work Hour Norms: According to the laws set forth by Ireland’s legislation, every individual must only work 48 hours per week. However, this is not a mandatory number, but the average number of weekly working hours for any employee over a span of 4 months mustn’t exceed 48 hours. There are certain exceptions to this, depending upon the nature of the job and other details.

How easy is it to conduct business in Ireland?

  • Starting a Business: As per the latest records of the World Bank, Ireland ranks number 23 in a pool of over 80 countries in terms of starting a business. This is calculated on several criteria, and an overall score is given to every country on the assessment of various parameters. Ireland scored 94.4 out of 100 in terms of starting a business. There are not too many procedures, the cost is average, and it takes roughly 11 days to start a business here.
  • Managing Permits: Permits come in various forms, and it generally takes very few days to attain them all in Ireland. Business owners must fulfill all the formalities before applying for permits to avoid any issues.
  • Getting Electricity: Ireland ranked 47 in terms of getting electricity. Electricity is a basic necessity for every business, and it is important to gain it easily. It can take up to 85 days to obtain electricity in Ireland for new businesses.
  • Getting Credit: Ireland secured a rank of 48 and 70 out of 100 in terms of ease in getting credit. The credit-getting system can be quite extensive as several checks are conducted by the authorities.
  • Managing Payroll: Ireland has set up various payroll managing systems which employers can benefit from. These systems help with calculating wages, leave, payouts, and the entire employee record in one place for ease of use. You may also take the services of Zimyo to manage your payroll requirements.
  • Paying Taxes: Ireland ranked at no. 4 in paying taxes, scoring 94.6 out of 100. Registering with the revenue service is necessary when starting a business in Ireland, which streamlines the entire process and makes it easier for the business owners to manage to pay taxes.
  • Enforcing Contracts: Contract Enforcement seems to be put on the backfoot in Ireland as it ranked 91 in this area. While creating contracts is mandatory and clear guidelines as to details are mentioned, enforcement seems to miss the mark.
  • Resolving Insolvency: On the parameter of resolving Insolvency, Ireland ranks 19. On average, resolving insolvency does not take too long, and the frameworks are quite well-performing.

For those looking to start a business in Ireland, all of the details mentioned above are extremely important. There are a lot of exceptions to the general rules laid down by the relevant authorities. It is up to the business owners to conduct research or take professional help, understand all of the provisions and learn which ones are relevant.

 To make things easier, there are a lot of governmental agencies and departments which work with specific aspects of starting a business in Ireland. Entrepreneurs must take help from these places to ensure all their bases are covered. 

Zimyo has emerged as a leading HR solutions provider in Ireland, offering businesses a one-stop solution for all the HR requirements, acquiring and training new employees, or managing advances against payroll. With multiple years of experience, the team at Zimyo is equipped to take on every challenge that you may encounter.